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Spirometry / PFT

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Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are noninvasive tests that show how well the lungs are working. The tests measure lung volume, capacity, rates of flow, and gas exchange. This information can help your healthcare provider diagnose and decide the treatment of certain lung disorders.

There are 2 types of disorders that cause problems with air moving in and out of the lungs:

  • Obstructive. This is when air has trouble flowing out of the lungs due to airway resistance. This causes a decreased flow of air.

  • Restrictive. This is when the lung tissue and/or chest muscles can’t expand enough. This creates problems with air flow, mostly due to lower lung volumes.

Why you need pulmonary function tests?

There are many different reasons why pulmonary function tests (PFTs) may be done. They are sometimes done in healthy people as part of a routine physical. They are also routinely done in certain types of work environments to ensure employee health (such as graphite factories and coal mines). Or you may have PFTs if your healthcare provider needs help to diagnose you with a health problem.

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